Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mixtapes Vol. II

"To me, making a tape is like writing a letter — there's a lot of erasing and rethinking and starting again. A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You've got to kick off with a corker, to hold the attention (I started with "Got to Get You Off My Mind," but then realized that she might not get any further than track one, side one if I delivered what she wanted straightaway, so I buried it in the middle of side two), and then you've got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can't have white music and black music together, unless the white music sounds like black music, and you can't have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you've done the whole thing in pairs and...oh, there are loads of rules"

[ Rob Fleming, from High Fidelity by Nick Hornby ]

This weekend I was given one of my favorite mixes everrr. Not that I get mixes very often, but this is one that I truly love. I know I've talked about this before, but what's cool about mixtapes is not just the music, but their very personal nature. A mixtape from one person to another is rarely just a mixtape. Individual songs become more than the sum of their parts, and take on greater meaning when they're put together with careful thought and consideration. Just as Rob Fleming remarked, a really good mix is not an easy thing to make. It takes a lot of time, listening (and re-listening), and reflection. So for the music lover (like me) it's really one of the best and most meaningful things someone can give you. Not only that, but mixtapes often reveal a little something about the individual who made it, making it all the more personal.

As good technically as this mix is, what I liked most of all is the tone and feeling that these songs evoke. What I mean is, it wasn't really about lyrical content or even what the artists were necessarily saying, but the feelings that were conveyed through the songs. I guess that meaning would vary from one person to the next, but to me there was something indelibly warm in the songs that left an impression on me even after they ended. Then again, maybe I'm reading too much into it. Here's a few of my favorite songs from the mix, see for yourself.

(If you can't tell, I have somewhat of an obssession with mixes and playlists, so from time to time I hope to write a little more on the topic.)

Track 01 [MP3] sweet sweet heartkiller / say hi to your mom
Track 03 [MP3] 55566688833 / james figurine
Track 13 [MP3] i will follow you into the dark / death cab for cutie
Track 20 [MP3] thursday / asobi seksu

p.s. Thanks Tina
|bruce banner|


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Making a mixtape is an artform. I agree with the High Fidelity quote about the unspoken rules and technical aspects of making a mixtape, and it is not as simple as throwing a bunch of songs together as some may think. More importantly, I think mixtapes represent a sentimental value - a slice of time and feelings between the person making the mixtape and who it's for. I'm diggin the Asobi Seksu and James Figurine songs. Thanks!

Article about mixtapes:


5:01 PM  
Blogger bruce banner said...

Thanks for the link, I definitely agree with your comment and that's a good point about how mixtapes capture a moment time...if you ever listen to an old mixtape, it's like you're instantly transported back to that moment and place with the same rush of feelings that are associated with that time, another reason i love mixes...thanks~

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting those songs...they're great!

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. a mixed tape is the best gift ever. for me, i think it's the idea of knowing that other person spent the time and effort into creating something so unique and special. doesn't it make you feel all warm and tingly inside?? =P

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember sitting in front of my boombox, yes boombox, with a gazillion cd's and one 90-min tape, having to consider the right songs and how it's all going to fit on side A, so that there is not too much lapse until it flips automatically over to side B, or so the last song does not get cut off! Now, those are skills that the next digital generation will never have to master.

If you had one of those OG boomboxes like me, let's not forget to mention perfecting the pushing of the RECORD+PLAY button down together! The mixtape is the the most true, creative, and purest form of adoration, a soundtrack combining a piece of you and a piece of them.

Speaking of, how about a post on soundtracks?

11:03 AM  
Blogger bruce banner said...

i know what you mean, i also remember being too broke to buy the albums, so i would sit for hours by my boombox hoping they'd play my favorite songs so i could hit the record (+play) button right before they started (most of the time i would catch it 2-3 seconds into the song unless they announced it was coming up) and i could put those songs into my mixes...it's definitely time-consuming, but somehow i still love doing it...so i'm curious, what are some other mixtape rules?

anyways, i did a post on wong kar wai's 2046 a while back, but definitely want to put up more...me and the rest of the getdownnn mutha@#$!s were planning to do a joint post on our favorite soundtracks pretty soon...any suggestions?

1:18 PM  

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